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School Area Transportation Safety Guidelines


Schools across Canada need to consider transportation safety, both on-site and in the surrounding community. More children are being driven to school today than in the past. As a result, transportation facilities at and around schools may not be operating as safely as originally planned, and current practices in school site designs may not be reflective of current modal split.
Two specific jurisdictions in Canada, Manitoba Department of Infrastructure and Transportation and the City of Calgary determined that there was a need to prepare a set of guidelines to assist schools with addressing on- and off-site transportation safety concerns. MMM Group was chosen to develop these guidelines for Manitoba and Calgary with the objective of providing schools (in both rural and urban areas) with a step-by-step process to review existing transportation issues, gather information, and work with technical experts to address such issues. Areas of focus common to both studies related to pedestrian safety, parking, both bus and parent pick-up / drop-off areas, and cycling initiatives. The schools reviewed in each jurisdiction included all age groups, and included both the public and, in the case of Calgary, separate school districts.
The first stage of both studies was to identify and review literature and best practices from across North America and internationally. All literature reviewed was specific to school, pedestrian, and bicycle safety.
Subsequently, input was obtained from residents, students, parents, teachers, and others in each jurisdiction to identify the transportation safety concerns both at, and around a number of schools, utilizing innovative engagement techniques. This input included actual and perceived barriers for stakeholders that limited their modal choices. In the City of Calgary assignment, walking tours of 21 sample schools were conducted during peak periods, online engagement was conducted with stakeholders to identify current travel patterns and barriers to other travel behaviours, and open house-style in-person workshops were held for participants to supplement identified issues and provide input on proposed solutions. In Manitoba, workshops were held with stakeholders at the commencement of the study to identify key issues regarding transportation safety at and around both urban and rural schools. A stakeholder workshop was also held towards the end of project which focused on the “trial use” of the guidelines.
The final deliverable in both studies involved a comprehensive report to each jurisdiction which included recommendations to help improve transportation safety and operations for existing school sites, and to identify recommendations that will be useful in developing new school sites.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Challenges and Issues Providing Real and Perceived Safety in School Zones
Tebinka, R.
Thannikary, S.
Rosin, K.
Road safety